This week dawned with my sinuses empty and my parents' guest bed full, specifically of me. I retire tonight with the opposite being true. Actually, the entire week featured equal parts topsy and turvy, to wit:
Sunday: I spent as much of Mother's Day with Andy Rooney as I did my own materfamilias. Mom was violently ill, and Rooney didn't seem much better. He opened one of his routine rants on "60 Minutes" Sunday night by saying, "Am I the only one who's tired of this election campaign already?"
I have a question: "Am I the only one who's tired of Andy Rooney." Here's a guy who's paid roughly the annual GNP of Ghana to be crotchety. And no one puts the "crotch" in crotchety like Andy.
Monday: Word began circulating that an American had been decapitated in Iraq. Nothing could match the unspeakable evil done to Nic Berg, but the way we reacted back home ran a close second. No sooner had word hit the net than each side sent their Rumpelstiltskins to the spinning wheel to tell the world "why these monsters must be wiped out/why President Bush is a monster and why he should be wiped out of office." The Berg family gets a pass to say whatever the heck they want, in my opinion. But I can't imagine adding a more egregious insult to such a heinous injury than the shameless politicizing of Berg's demise. I suppose it's easier to have someone tell you what to think than to think for yourself.
Tuesday: Waiting for an appointment at CNN Center in Atlanta, I spotted the Jackson Five: Jesse (cutting an impressive figure, tall and trim) and four of his lackeys ushering him out of a studio where he'd been interviewed and into one of those BALCO SUVs, a Suburban stretched out across multiple zip codes. I'd never thought about what I might say to Jesse Jackson if given the opportunity, which is perhaps why I said nothing when I had the chance. The only thing that popped into my head was asking him to recite that "Green Eggs and Ham" riff from his Saturday Night Live turn a few years ago. Not sure that would've gone over well with his goons.
Has there been a more inescapable or enigmatic figure over the last 30 years than Jesse Jackson? His celebrity was born about the time I was. He's a Reverend, but I can't say I've ever heard him invoke the name of Jesus. He's been praised, parodied, panned, pandered to, and paternity-papered. No wonder he has so many minions.
Wednesday: En route back to Abilene after a week away from home, I popped into the Admirals Club at DFW. The Admirals Club is:
a) a must for busy businessmen who need a place to conduct their busy work away from the din of a busy airport
b) the only climate on the planet capable of growing fully-ripe, racquetball-sized apples
c) $400 a year
d) all of the above
Taking up 6 feet 10 inches of this particular Club was Jack Haley. Not the Tin Man from "Wizard of Oz" but the erstwhile benchwarmer for the Chicago Bulls' championship teams of the '90s. (Actually, the Tin Man had better moves than his namesake, even before Dorothy's lube job.) This Jack Haley seemed a perfect Admirals Club customer. A guy rich enough to separate himself from the bustling bourgeoisie but not big enough to fly privately. Guys like me. Who like really small apples.
It's good to be home and fill up my half of my own bed. And now that I'm heavily medicated, I'm ready to taken on the trials and triumphs of another week. I might even be ready for Andy Rooney.